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PRISONERS

PAUL DANO (Alex Jones) is currently in production playing the young Brian Wilson in "Love & Mercy," a forthcoming independent feature directed by producer Bill Pohlad in his directorial debut. The film follows the reclusive, legendary Beach Boys musician from his successes with highly influential orchestral pop albums to his nervous breakdown and subsequent encounter with controversial therapist Dr. Eugene Land, and also stars John Cusack as the older Wilson, Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti.

In addition to this fall's "Prisoners," Dano plays a pivotal role in another highly anticipated film that will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave," which also stars Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Last year, Dano reteamed with Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, his directors on "Little Miss Sunshine," for the critically acclaimed "Ruby Sparks," written by and co-starring Zoe Kazan. Dano also garnered positive reviews for his performance as an aspiring rock star and young father in So Yong Kim's "For Ellen," and served as an executive producer on both films. He also starred opposite Robert De Niro in "Being Flynn," Paul Weitz's adaptation of Nick Flynn's celebrated memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, and made a pivotal appearance alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Rian Johnson's sci-fi thriller "Looper."

Dano earned an Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance for his work opposite Brian Cox in Michel Cuesta's "L.I.E.," and for "Little Miss Sunshine" he garnered a second Spirit Award nomination, a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Young Actor and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award as part of the ensemble, shared with cast mates Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Greg Kinnear. The following year, Dano earned a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will Be Blood."

Dano's other film credits also include Kelly Reichardt's "Meek's Cutoff"; Jon Favreau's "Cowboys & Aliens"; Spike Jonze's "Where the Wild Things Are"; James Mangold's "Knight and Day"; Dagur Kári's "The Good Heart"; Matt Aselton's "Gigantic," opposite Zooey Deschanel, which marked Dano's first executive producer credit; Ang Lee's "Taking Woodstock"; Richard Linklater's "Fast Food Nation"; James Marsh's "The King"; Rebecca Miller's "The Ballad of Jack and Rose," with Daniel Day-Lewis; D.J. Caruso's "Taking Lives"; Luke Greenfield's "The Girl Next Door"; Michael Hoffman's "The Emperor's Club," starring Kevin Kline; and Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini's "The Extra Man," also with Kline.

Growing up in Manhattan and Connecticut, Dano began his career on the New York stage just before his eleventh birthday, as an understudy in the 1995 production of "A Month in the Country," with F. Murray Abraham and Helen Mirren. He went on to win roles in Broadway productions of "Inherit the Wind," opposite George C. Scott and Charles Durning, and "A Christmas Carol," with Ben Vereen and Terrence Mann. In 2007, Dano returned to the stage in The New Group's off-Broadway production of Jonathan Marc Sherman's "Things We Want," directed by Ethan Hawke and starring Peter Dinklage, Josh Hamilton, and Zoe Kazan. In late 2010, he appeared with Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def in the world premiere of John Guare's "A Free Man of Color," directed by George C. Wolfe at Lincoln Center Theatre.

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